More grim news about VA care: a lawsuit alleges the VA’s failure to properly treat a Marine veteran of Iraq led to his suicide. Randen Harvey suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder following two tours in Iraq. Suicide prevention is the focus of TAPS, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, which is planning a webinar on the subject. Can a video game help prevent suicides? In other news, a test of a streamlined system to more speedily and accurately evaluate wounded troops is set to expand over the next seven months from the D.C. area to 16 other bases in the U.S., according to the VA. Officials hope the new system will replace the problematic evaluation process exposed by the 2007 Walter Reed scandal. Air Force family liaison officers help take care of the families of the wounded. Dealing with war-related PTSD isn’t just an American issue. It’s also an issue being taken up by the theater.
Veterans helpline: walking and talking in soldiers’ shoes. “Losing soldiers in Iraq almost killed me.” More National Guard troops are deployed nearly constantly to maintain current deployment policies in Iraq. We must meet the needs of our wounded troops. Different methods help different troops cope.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates is now considered likely to keep his job, at least for a year, in the Obama Administration. It would be the first time a Pentagon chief has been carried over from a president of a different party. Consider it a sort of extended transition. Some are calling it a “done deal.” Who rules the Pentagon? Iraq, meanwhile, remains a deadly place for our troops. Iraq’s various factions have to make peace amongst themselves before Iraq approaches peaceful conditions again. In Afghanistan, President Hamid Karzai wants a timetable for ending the war there too.
Happy Thanksgiving returning troops — even if you’re not able to spend the holiday with your family.